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Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court-Branch 41, Bacolod City, and ROSALIE
JAYPE-GARCIA, for herself and in behalf of minor children, namely: JO-ANN,
JOSEPH EDUARD, JESSE ANTHONE, all surnamed GARCIA, Respondents.

2013-06-25 | G.R. No. 179267



Hailed as the bastion of Christianity in Asia, the Philippines boasts of 86.8 million Filipinos- or 93 percent of a
total population of 93.3 million-adhering to the teachings of Jesus Christ. 1 Yet, the admonition for husbands
to love their wives as their own bodies just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her2 failed to
prevent, or even to curb, the pervasiveness of violence against Filipino women. The National Commission on
the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) reported that, for the years 2000-2003, "female violence comprised
more than 90% of all forms of abuse and violence and more than 90% of these reported cases were
committed by the women's intimate partners such as their husbands and live-in partners.”3

Thus, on March 8, 2004, after nine (9) years of spirited advocacy by women's groups, Congress enacted
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9262, entitled “An Act Defining Violence Against Women and Their Children,
Providing for Protective Measures for Victims, Prescribing Penalties Therefor, and for Other Purposes.” It took
effect on March 27, 2004.4

R.A. 9262 is a landmark legislation that defines and criminalizes acts of violence against women and their
children (VAWC) perpetrated by women's intimate partners, i.e, husband; former husband; or any person who
has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom the woman has a common child.5 The law provides
for protection orders from the barangay and the courts to prevent the commission of further acts of VAWC;
and outlines the duties and responsibilities of barangay officials, law enforcers, prosecutors and court
personnel, social workers, health care providers, and other local government officials in responding to
complaints of VAWC or requests for assistance.

A husband is now before the Court assailing the constitutionality of R.A. 9262 as being violative of the equal
protection and due process clauses, and an undue delegation of judicial power to barangay officials.

The Factual Antecedents

On March 23, 2006, Rosalie Jaype-Garcia (private respondent) filed, for herself and in behalf of her minor
children, a verified petition6 (Civil Case No. 06-797) before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City for
the issuance of a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) against her husband, Jesus C. Garcia (petitioner),
pursuant to R.A. 9262. She claimed to be a victim of physical abuse; emotional, psychological, and economic
violence as a result of marital infidelity on the part of petitioner, with threats of deprivation of custody of her
children and of financial support.7

Private respondent's claims

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Private respondent married petitioner in 2002 when she was 34 years old and the former was eleven years
her senior. They have three (3) children, namely: Jo-Ann J. Garcia, 17 years old, who is the natural child of
petitioner but whom private respondent adopted; Jessie Anthone J. Garcia, 6 years old; and Joseph Eduard J.
Garcia, 3 years old.8

Private respondent described herself as a dutiful and faithful wife, whose life revolved around her husband.
On the other hand, petitioner, who is of Filipino-Chinese descent, is dominant, controlling, and demands
absolute obedience from his wife and children. He forbade private respondent to pray, and deliberately
isolated her from her friends. When she took up law, and even when she was already working part time at a
law office, petitioner trivialized her ambitions and prevailed upon her to just stay at home. He was often
jealous of the fact that his attractive wife still catches the eye of some men, at one point threatening that he
would have any man eyeing her killed.9

Things turned for the worse when petitioner took up an affair with a bank manager of Robinson's Bank,
Bacolod City, who is the godmother of one of their sons. Petitioner admitted to the affair when private
respondent confronted him about it in 2004. He even boasted to the household help about his sexual relations
with said bank manager. Petitioner told private respondent, though, that he was just using the woman
because of their accounts with the bank.10

Petitioner's infidelity spawned a series of fights that left private respondent physically and emotionally
wounded. In one of their quarrels, petitioner grabbed private respondent on both arms and shook her with
such force that caused bruises and hematoma. At another time, petitioner hit private respondent forcefully on
the lips that caused some bleeding. Petitioner sometimes turned his ire on their daughter, Jo-Ann, who had
seen the text messages he sent to his paramour and whom he blamed for squealing on him. He beat Jo-Ann
on the chest and slapped her many times. When private respondent decided to leave petitioner, Jo-Ann
begged her mother to stay for fear that if the latter leaves, petitioner would beat her up. Even the small boys
are aware of private respondent's sufferings. Their 6-year-old son said that when he grows up, he would beat
up his father because of his cruelty to private respondent.11

All the emotional and psychological turmoil drove private respondent to the brink of despair. On December 17,
2005, while at home, she attempted suicide by cutting her wrist. She was found by her son bleeding on the
floor. Petitioner simply fled the house instead of taking her to the hospital. Private respondent was
hospitalized for about seven (7) days in which time petitioner never bothered to visit, nor apologized or
showed pity on her. Since then, private respondent has been undergoing therapy almost every week and is
taking anti-depressant medications.12

When private respondent informed the management of Robinson's Bank that she intends to file charges
against the bank manager, petitioner got angry with her for jeopardizing the manager's job. He then packed
his things and told private respondent that he was leaving her for good. He even told private respondent's
mother, who lives with them in the family home, that private respondent should just accept his extramarital
affair since he is not cohabiting with his paramour and has not sired a child with her.13

Private respondent is determined to separate from petitioner but she is afraid that he would take her children
from her and deprive her of financial support. Petitioner had previously warned her that if she goes on a legal
battle with him, she would not get a single centavo.14
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Petitioner controls the family businesses involving mostly the construction of deep wells. He is the President
of three corporations – 326 Realty Holdings, Inc., Negros Rotadrill Corporation, and J-Bros Trading
Corporation – of which he and private respondent are both stockholders. In contrast to the absolute control of
petitioner over said corporations, private respondent merely draws a monthly salary of P20,000.00 from one
corporation only, the Negros Rotadrill Corporation. Household expenses amounting to not less than
P200,000.00 a month are paid for by private respondent through the use of credit cards, which, in turn, are
paid by the same corporation together with the bills for utilities.15

On the other hand, petitioner receives a monthly salary of P60,000.00 from Negros Rotadrill Corporation, and
enjoys unlimited cash advances and other benefits in hundreds of thousands of pesos from the
corporations.16After private respondent confronted him about the affair, petitioner forbade her to hold office at
JBTC Building, Mandalagan, where all the businesses of the corporations are conducted, thereby depriving
her of access to full information about said businesses. Until the filing of the petition a quo, petitioner has not
given private respondent an accounting of the businesses the value of which she had helped raise to millions
of pesos.17

Action of the RTC of Bacolod City

Finding reasonable ground to believe that an imminent danger of violence against the private respondent and
her children exists or is about to recur, the RTC issued a TPO 18 on March 24, 2006 effective for thirty (30)
days, which is quoted hereunder:

Respondent (petitioner herein), Jesus Chua Garcia, is hereby:

a) Ordered to remove all his personal belongings from the conjugal dwelling or family home within 24
hours from receipt of the Temporary Restraining Order and if he refuses, ordering that he be removed
by police officers from the conjugal dwelling; this order is enforceable
notwithstanding that the house is under the name of 236 Realty Holdings Inc. (Republic Act No. 9262
states “regardless of ownership”), this is to allow the Petitioner (private respondent herein) to enter the
conjugal dwelling without any danger from the Respondent.
After the Respondent leaves or is removed from the conjugal dwelling, or anytime the Petitioner
decides to return to the conjugal dwelling to remove things, the Petitioner shall be assisted by police
officers when re-entering the family home.
The Chief of Police shall also give the Petitioner police assistance on Sunday, 26 March 2006 because
of the danger that the Respondent will attempt to take her children from her when he arrives from
Manila and finds out about this suit.
b) To stay away from the petitioner and her children, mother and all her household help and driver from
a distance of 1,000 meters, and shall not enter the gate of the subdivision where the Petitioner may be
temporarily residing.
c) Not to harass, annoy, telephone, contact or otherwise communicate with the Petitioner, directly or
indirectly, or through other persons, or contact directly or indirectly her children, mother and household
help, nor send gifts, cards, flowers, letters and the like. Visitation rights to the children may be subject
of a modified TPO in the future.
d) To surrender all his firearms including a .9MM caliber firearm and a Walther PPK and ordering the
Philippine National Police Firearms and Explosives Unit and the Provincial Director of the PNP to
cancel all the Respondent's firearm licenses. He should also be ordered to surrender any unlicensed
firearms in his possession or control.
e) To pay full financial support for the Petitioner and the children, including rental of a house for them,
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and educational and medical expenses.
f) Not to dissipate the conjugal business.
g) To render an accounting of all advances, benefits, bonuses and other cash he received from all the
corporations from 1 January 2006 up to 31 March 2006, which himself and as President of the
corporations and his Comptroller, must submit to the Court not later than 2 April 2006. Thereafter, an
accounting of all these funds shall be reported to the court by the Comptroller, copy furnished to the
Petitioner, every 15 days of the month, under pain of Indirect Contempt of Court.
h) To ensure compliance especially with the order granting support pendente lite, and considering the
financial resources of the Respondent and his threat that if the Petitioner sues she will not get a single
centavo, the Respondent is ordered to put up a BOND TO KEEP THE PEACE in the amount of FIVE
MILLION PESOS, in two sufficient sureties.

On April 24, 2006, upon motion19 of private respondent, the trial court issued an amended TPO,20 effective
for thirty (30) days, which included the following additional provisions:

i) The petitioners (private respondents herein) are given the continued use of the Nissan Patrol and the
Starex Van which they are using in Negros Occidental.
j) The petitioners are given the continued use and occupation of the house in Parañaque, the continued
use of the Starex van in Metro Manila, whenever they go to Manila.
k) Respondent is ordered to immediately post a bond to keep the peace, in two sufficient sureties.
l) To give monthly support to the petitioner provisionally fixed in the sum of One Hundred Fifty
Thousand Pesos (Php 150,000.00) per month plus rental expenses of Fifty Thousand Pesos (Php
50,000.00) per month until the matter of support could be finally resolved.

Two days later, or on April 26, 2006, petitioner filed an Opposition to the Urgent Ex-Parte Motion for Renewal
of the TPO21 seeking the denial of the renewal of the TPO on the grounds that it did not (1) comply with the
three-day notice rule, and (2) contain a notice of hearing. He further asked that the TPO be modified by (1)
removing one vehicle used by private respondent and returning the same to its rightful owner, the J-Bros
Trading Corporation, and (2) cancelling or reducing the amount of the bond from P5,000,000.00 to a more
manageable level at P100,000.00.

Subsequently, on May 23, 2006, petitioner moved22 for the modification of the TPO to allow him visitation
rights to his children.

On May 24, 2006, the TPO was renewed and extended yet again, but subject only to the following
modifications prayed for by private respondent:

a) That respondent (petitioner herein) return the clothes and other personal belongings of Rosalie and
her children to Judge Jesus Ramos, co-counsel for Petitioner, within 24 hours from receipt of the
Temporary Protection Order by his counsel, otherwise be declared in Indirect Contempt of Court;
b) Respondent shall make an accounting or list of furniture and equipment in the conjugal house in
Pitimini St., Capitolville Subdivision, Bacolod City within 24 hours from receipt of the Temporary
Protection Order by his counsel;
c) Ordering the Chief of the Women's Desk of the Bacolod City Police Headquarters to remove
Respondent from the conjugal dwelling within eight (8) hours from receipt of the Temporary Protection
Order by his counsel, and that he cannot return until 48 hours after the petitioners have left, so that the
petitioner Rosalie and her representatives can remove things from the conjugal home and make an
inventory of the household furniture, equipment and other things in the conjugal home, which shall be
submitted to the Court.
d) Deliver full financial support of Php200,000.00 and Php50,000.00 for rental and Php25,000.00 for
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clothes of the three petitioners (sic) children within 24 hours from receipt of the Temporary Protection
Order by his counsel, otherwise be declared in indirect contempt of Court;
e) That respondent surrender his two firearms and all unlicensed firearms to the Clerk of Court within
24 hours from receipt of the Temporary Protection Order by his counsel;
f) That respondent shall pay petitioner educational expenses of the children upon presentation of proof
of payment of such expenses.23
Claiming that petitioner continued to deprive them of financial support; failed to faithfully comply with the TPO;
and committed new acts of harassment against her and their children, private respondent filed another
application24 for the issuance of a TPO ex parte. She alleged inter alia that petitioner contrived a replevin suit
against himself by J-Bros Trading, Inc., of which the latter was purportedly no longer president, with the end in
view of recovering the Nissan Patrol and Starex Van used by private respondent and the children. A writ of
replevin was served upon private respondent by a group of six or seven policemen with long firearms that
scared the two small boys, Jessie Anthone and Joseph Eduard.25

While Joseph Eduard, then three years old, was driven to school, two men allegedly attempted to kidnap him,
which incident traumatized the boy resulting in his refusal to go back to school. On another occasion,
petitioner allegedly grabbed their daughter, Jo-Ann, by the arm and threatened her.26 The incident was
reported to the police, and Jo-Ann subsequently filed a criminal complaint against her father for violation of
R.A. 7610, also known as the “Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and
Discrimination Act.”

Aside from the replevin suit, petitioner's lawyers initiated the filing by the housemaids working at the conjugal
home of a complaint for kidnapping and illegal detention against private respondent. This came about after
private respondent, armed with a TPO, went to said home to get her and her children's belongings. Finding
some of her things inside a housemaid's (Sheryl Jamola) bag in the maids' room, private respondent filed a
case for qualified theft against Jamola.27

On August 23, 2006, the RTC issued a TPO,28 effective for thirty (30) days, which reads as follows:

Respondent (petitioner herein), Jesus Chua Garcia, is hereby:

1) Prohibited from threatening to commit or committing, personally or through another, acts of violence
against the offended party;
2) Prohibited from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating in any
form with the offended party, either directly or indirectly;
3) Required to stay away, personally or through his friends, relatives, employees or agents, from all the
Petitioners Rosalie J. Garcia and her children, Rosalie J. Garcia's three brothers, her mother Primitiva
Jaype, cook Novelita Caranzo, driver Romeo Hontiveros, laundrywoman Mercedita Bornales, security
guard Darwin Gayona and the petitioner's other household helpers from a distance of 1,000 meters,
and shall not enter the gate of the subdivision where the Petitioners are temporarily residing, as well as
from the schools of the three children; Furthermore, that respondent shall not contact the schools of the
children directly or indirectly in any manner including, ostensibly to pay for their tuition or other fees
directly, otherwise he will have access to the children through the schools and the TPO will be
rendered nugatory;
4) Directed to surrender all his firearms including .9MM caliber firearm and a Walther PPK to the Court;
5) Directed to deliver in full financial support of Php200,000.00 a month and Php50,000.00 for rental for
the period from August 6 to September 6, 2006; and support in arrears from March 2006 to August
2006 the total amount of Php1,312,000.00;
6) Directed to deliver educational expenses for 2006-2007 the amount of Php75,000.00 and
7) Directed to allow the continued use of a Nissan Patrol with Plate No. FEW 508 and a Starex van with
Plate No. FFD 991 and should the respondent fail to deliver said vehicles, respondent is ordered to
provide the petitioner another vehicle which is the one taken by J Bros Tading;
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8) Ordered not to dissipate, encumber, alienate, sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the conjugal assets,
or those real properties in the name of Jesus Chua Garcia only and those in which the conjugal
partnership of gains of the Petitioner Rosalie J. Garcia and respondent have an interest in, especially
the conjugal home located in No. 14, Pitimini St., Capitolville Subdivision, Bacolod City, and other
properties which are conjugal assets or those in which the conjugal partnership of gains of Petitioner
Rosalie J. Garcia and the respondent have an interest in and listed in Annexes “I,” “I-1,” and “I-2,”
including properties covered by TCT Nos. T-186325 and T-168814;
9) Ordered that the Register of Deeds of Bacolod City and E.B. Magalona shall be served a copy of this
TEMPORARY PROTECTION ORDER and are ordered not to allow the transfer, sale, encumbrance or
disposition of these above-cited properties to any person, entity or corporation without the personal
presence of petitioner Rosalie J. Garcia, who shall affix her signature in the presence of the Register of
Deeds, due to the fear of petitioner Rosalie that her signature will be forged in order to effect the
encumbrance or sale of these properties to defraud her or the conjugal partnership of gains.

In its Order29 dated September 26, 2006, the trial court extended the aforequoted TPO for another ten (10)
days, and gave petitioner a period of five (5) days within which to show cause why the TPO should not be
renewed, extended, or modified. Upon petitioner's manifestation,30 however, that he has not received a copy
of private respondent's motion to modify/renew the TPO, the trial court directed in its Order31 dated October
6, 2006 that petitioner be furnished a copy of said motion. Nonetheless, an Order32 dated a day earlier,
October 5, had already been issued renewing the TPO dated August 23, 2006. The pertinent portion is
quoted hereunder:

x x x it appearing further that the hearing could not yet be finally terminated, the Temporary Protection
Order issued on August 23, 2006 is hereby renewed and extended for thirty (30) days and continuously
extended and renewed for thirty (30) days, after each expiration, until further orders, and subject to
such modifications as may be ordered by the court.

After having received a copy of the foregoing Order, petitioner no longer submitted the required comment to
private respondent's motion for renewal of the TPO arguing that it would only be an “exercise in futility.”33

Proceedings before the CA

During the pendency of Civil Case No. 06-797, petitioner filed before the Court of Appeals (CA) a petition34
for prohibition (CA-G.R. CEB- SP. No. 01698), with prayer for injunction and temporary restraining order,
challenging (1) the constitutionality of R.A. 9262 for being violative of the due process and the equal
protection clauses, and (2) the validity of the modified TPO issued in the civil case for being “an unwanted
product of an invalid law.”

On May 26, 2006, the appellate court issued a 60-day Temporary Restraining Order35 (TRO) against the
enforcement of the TPO, the amended TPOs and other orders pursuant thereto.

Subsequently, however, on January 24, 2007, the appellate court dismissed36 the petition for failure of
petitioner to raise the constitutional issue in his pleadings before the trial court in the civil case, which is
clothed with jurisdiction to resolve the same. Secondly, the challenge to the validity of R.A. 9262 through a
petition for prohibition seeking to annul the protection orders issued by the trial court constituted a collateral
attack on said law.

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His motion for reconsideration of the foregoing Decision having been denied in the Resolution37 dated
August 14, 2007, petitioner is now before us alleging that –

The Issues

The Ruling of the Court

Before delving into the arguments propounded by petitioner against the constitutionality of R.A. 9262, we shall
first tackle the propriety of the dismissal by the appellate court of the petition for prohibition (CA-G.R. CEB-SP.
No. 01698) filed by petitioner.

As a general rule, the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity so that if not
raised in the pleadings, ordinarily it may not be raised in the trial, and if not raised in the trial court, it will not
be considered on appeal.39 Courts will not anticipate a question of constitutional law in advance of the
necessity of deciding it.40

In defending his failure to attack the constitutionality of R.A. 9262 before the RTC of Bacolod City, petitioner
argues that the Family Court has limited authority and jurisdiction that is “inadequate to tackle the complex
issue of constitutionality.”41

We disagree.

Family Courts have authority

and jurisdiction to consider the

constitutionality of a statute.

At the outset, it must be stressed that Family Courts are special courts, of the same level as Regional Trial
Courts. Under R.A. 8369, otherwise known as the “Family Courts Act of 1997,” family courts have exclusive
original jurisdiction to hear and decide cases of domestic violence against women and children.42 In
accordance with said law, the Supreme Court designated from among the branches of the Regional Trial
Courts at least one Family Court in each of several key cities identified.43 To achieve harmony with the first
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mentioned law, Section 7 of R.A. 9262 now provides that Regional Trial Courts designated as Family Courts
shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over cases of VAWC defined under the latter law, viz:

SEC. 7. Venue. – The Regional Trial Court designated as a Family Court shall have original and
exclusive jurisdiction over cases of violence against women and their children under this law. In the
absence of such court in the place where the offense was committed, the case shall be filed in the
Regional Trial Court where the crime or any of its elements was committed at the option of the
complainant. (Emphasis supplied)

Inspite of its designation as a family court, the RTC of Bacolod City remains possessed of authority as a court
of general original jurisdiction to pass upon all kinds of cases whether civil, criminal, special proceedings, land
registration, guardianship, naturalization, admiralty or insolvency.44 It is settled that RTCs have jurisdiction to
resolve the constitutionality of a statute,45 “this authority being embraced in the general definition of the
judicial power to determine what are the valid and binding laws by the criterion of their conformity to the
fundamental law.”46 The Constitution vests the power of judicial review or the power to declare the
constitutionality or validity of a law, treaty, international or executive agreement, presidential decree, order,
instruction, ordinance, or regulation not only in this Court, but in all RTCs.47 We said in J.M. Tuason and Co.,
Inc. v. CA48 that, “[p]lainly the Constitution contemplates that the inferior courts should have jurisdiction in
cases involving constitutionality of any treaty or law, for it speaks of appellate review of final judgments of
inferior courts in cases where such constitutionality happens to be in issue.” Section 5, Article VIII of the 1987
Constitution reads in part as follows:

SEC. 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:

2. Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of
Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in:
a. All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive
agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or
regulation is in question.

Thus, contrary to the posturing of petitioner, the issue of constitutionality of R.A. 9262 could have been raised
at the earliest opportunity in his Opposition to the petition for protection order before the RTC of Bacolod City,
which had jurisdiction to determine the same, subject to the review of this Court.

Section 20 of A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC, the Rule on Violence Against Women and Their Children, lays down a
new kind of procedure requiring the respondent to file an opposition to the petition and not an answer.49Thus:

SEC. 20. Opposition to petition. – (a) The respondent may file an opposition to the petition which he
himself shall verify. It must be accompanied by the affidavits of witnesses and shall show cause why a
temporary or permanent protection order should not be issued.
(b) Respondent shall not include in the opposition any counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party
complaint, but any cause of action which could be the subject thereof may be litigated in a separate
civil action. (Emphasis supplied)

We cannot subscribe to the theory espoused by petitioner that, since a counterclaim, cross-claim and
third-party complaint are to be excluded from the opposition, the issue of constitutionality cannot likewise be
raised therein. A counterclaim is defined as any claim for money or other relief which a defending party may
have against an opposing party.50 A crossclaim, on the other hand, is any claim by one party against a
co-party arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter either of the original action or of
a counterclaim therein.51 Finally, a third-party complaint is a claim that a defending party may, with leave of
court, file against a person not a party to the action for contribution, indemnity, subrogation or any other relief,
in respect of his opponent's claim.52 As pointed out by Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro, the
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unconstitutionality of a statute is not a cause of action that could be the subject of a counterclaim, cross-claim
or a third-party complaint. Therefore, it is not prohibited from being raised in the opposition in view of the
familiar maxim expressio unius est exclusio alterius.

Moreover, it cannot be denied that this issue affects the resolution of the case a quo because the right of
private respondent to a protection order is founded solely on the very statute the validity of which is being
attacked53 by petitioner who has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement. The
alleged unconstitutionality of R.A. 9262 is, for all intents and purposes, a valid cause for the non-issuance of a
protection order.

That the proceedings in Civil Case No. 06-797 are summary in nature should not have deterred petitioner
from raising the same in his Opposition. The question relative to the constitutionality of a statute is one of law
which does not need to be supported by evidence.54 Be that as it may, Section 25 of A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC
nonetheless allows the conduct of a hearing to determine legal issues, among others, viz:

SEC. 25. Order for further hearing. - In case the court determines the need for further hearing, it may
issue an order containing the following:
(a) Facts undisputed and admitted;
(b) Factual and legal issues to be resolved;
(c) Evidence, including objects and documents that have been marked and will be presented;
(d) Names of witnesses who will be ordered to present their direct testimonies in the form of affidavits;
(e) Schedule of the presentation of evidence by both parties which shall be done in one day, to the
extent possible, within the 30-day period of the effectivity of the temporary protection order issued.
(Emphasis supplied)

To obviate potential dangers that may arise concomitant to the conduct of a hearing when necessary, Section
26 (b) of A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC provides that if a temporary protection order issued is due to expire, the trial
court may extend or renew the said order for a period of thirty (30) days each time until final judgment is
rendered. It may likewise modify the extended or renewed temporary protection order as may be necessary to
meet the needs of the parties. With the private respondent given ample protection, petitioner could proceed to
litigate the constitutional issues, without necessarily running afoul of the very purpose for the adoption of the
rules on summary procedure.

In view of all the foregoing, the appellate court correctly dismissed the petition for prohibition with prayer for
injunction and temporary restraining order (CA-G.R. CEB - SP. No. 01698). Petitioner may have proceeded
upon an honest belief that if he finds succor in a superior court, he could be granted an injunctive relief.
However, Section 22(j) of A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC expressly disallows the filing of a petition for certiorari,
mandamus or prohibition against any interlocutory order issued by the trial court. Hence, the 60-day TRO
issued by the appellate court in this case against the enforcement of the TPO, the amended TPOs and other
orders pursuant thereto was improper, and it effectively hindered the case from taking its normal course in an
expeditious and summary manner.

As the rules stand, a review of the case by appeal or certiorari before judgment is prohibited. Moreover, if the
appeal of a judgment granting permanent protection shall not stay its enforcement,55 with more reason that a
TPO, which is valid only for thirty (30) days at a time,56 should not be enjoined.

The mere fact that a statute is alleged to be unconstitutional or invalid, does not of itself entitle a litigant to
have the same enjoined.57 In Younger v. Harris, Jr.,58 the Supreme Court of the United States declared, thus:

Federal injunctions against state criminal statutes, either in their entirety or with respect to their
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separate and distinct prohibitions, are not to be granted as a matter of course, even if such statutes are
unconstitutional. No citizen or member of the community is immune from prosecution, in good faith, for
his alleged criminal acts. The imminence of such a prosecution even though alleged to be unauthorized
and, hence, unlawful is not alone ground for relief in equity which exerts its extraordinary powers only
to prevent irreparable injury to the plaintiff who seeks its aid. (Citations omitted)

The sole objective of injunctions is to preserve the status quo until the trial court hears fully the merits of the
case. It bears stressing, however, that protection orders are granted ex parte so as to protect women and
their children from acts of violence. To issue an injunction against such orders will defeat the very purpose of
the law against VAWC.

Notwithstanding all these procedural flaws, we shall not shirk from our obligation to determine novel issues, or
issues of first impression, with far-reaching implications. We have, time and again, discharged our solemn
duty as final arbiter of constitutional issues, and with more reason now, in view of private respondent's plea in
her Comment59 to the instant Petition that we should put the challenge to the constitutionality of R.A. 9262 to
rest. And so we shall.

Intent of Congress in

enacting R.A. 9262.

Petitioner claims that since R.A. 9262 is intended to prevent and criminalize spousal and child abuse, which
could very well be committed by either the husband or the wife, gender alone is not enough basis to deprive
the husband/father of the remedies under the law.60

A perusal of the deliberations of Congress on Senate Bill No. 2723,61which became R.A. 9262, reveals that
while the sponsor, Senator Luisa Pimentel-Ejercito (better known as Senator Loi Estrada), had originally
proposed what she called a “synthesized measure”62– an amalgamation of two measures, namely, the
“Anti-Domestic Violence Act” and the “AntiAbuse of Women in Intimate Relationships Act”63– providing
protection to “all family members, leaving no one in isolation” but at the same time giving special attention to
women as the “usual victims” of violence and abuse,64 nonetheless, it was eventually agreed that men be
denied protection under the same measure. We quote pertinent portions of the deliberations:

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Senator Pangilinan. I just wanted to place this on record, Mr. President. Some women's groups have
expressed concerns and relayed these concerns to me that if we are to include domestic violence apart
from against women as well as other members of the household, including children or the husband,
they fear that this would weaken the efforts to address domestic violence of which the main victims or
the bulk of the victims really are the wives, the spouses or the female partners in a relationship. We
would like to place that on record. How does the good Senator respond to this kind of observation?
Senator Estrada. Yes, Mr. President, there is this group of women who call themselves “WIIR” Women
in Intimate Relationship. They do not want to include men in this domestic violence. But plenty of men
are also being abused by women. I am playing safe so I placed here members of the family,
prescribing penalties therefor and providing protective measures for victims. This includes the men,
children, live-in, common-law wives, and those related with the family.65
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
| Page 10 of 34
The President Pro Tempore. x x x
Also, may the Chair remind the group that there was the discussion whether to limit this to women and
not to families which was the issue of the AWIR group. The understanding that I have is that we would
be having a broader scope rather than just women, if I remember correctly, Madam sponsor.
Senator Estrada. Yes, Mr. President.
As a matter of fact, that was brought up by Senator Pangilinan during the interpellation period.
I think Senator Sotto has something to say to that.
Senator Legarda. Mr. President, the reason I am in support of the measure. Do not get me wrong.
However, I believe that there is a need to protect women's rights especially in the domestic
As I said earlier, there are nameless, countless, voiceless women who have not had the opportunity to
file a case against their spouses, their live-in partners after years, if not decade, of battery and abuse. If
we broaden the scope to include even the men, assuming they can at all be abused by the women or
their spouses, then it would not equalize the already difficult situation for women, Mr. President.
I think that the sponsor, based on our earlier conversations, concurs with this position. I am sure that
the men in this Chamber who love their women in their lives so dearly will agree with this
representation. Whether we like it or not, it is an unequal world. Whether we like it or not, no matter
how empowered the women are, we are not given equal opportunities especially in the domestic
environment where the macho Filipino man would always feel that he is stronger, more superior to the
Filipino woman.
The President Pro Tempore. What does the sponsor say?
Senator Estrada. Mr. President, before accepting this, the committee came up with this bill because the
family members have been included in this proposed measure since the other members of the family
other than women are also possible victims of violence. While women are most likely the intended
victims, one reason incidentally why the measure focuses on women, the fact remains that in some
relatively few cases, men also stand to be victimized and that children are almost always the helpless
victims of violence. I am worried that there may not be enough protection extended to other family
members particularly children who are excluded. Although Republic Act No. 7610, for instance, more or
less, addresses the special needs of abused children. The same law is inadequate. Protection orders
for one are not available in said law.
I am aware that some groups are apprehensive about granting the same protection to men, fearing that
they may use this law to justify their abusive behavior against women. However, we should also
recognize that there are established procedures and standards in our courts which give credence to
evidentiary support and cannot just arbitrarily and whimsically entertain baseless complaints.
Mr. President, this measure is intended to harmonize family relations and to protect the family as the
basic social institution. Though I recognize the unequal power relations between men and women in
our society, I believe we have an obligation to uphold inherent rights and dignity of both husband and
wife and their immediate family members, particularly children.
While I prefer to focus mainly on women, I was compelled to include other family members as a critical
input arrived at after a series of consultations/meetings with various NGOs, experts, sports groups and
other affected sectors, Mr. President.Senator Sotto. Mr. President.
The President Pro Tempore. Yes, with the permission of the other senators.
Senator Sotto. Yes, with the permission of the two ladies on the Floor.
The President Pro Tempore. Yes, Sen. Vicente C. Sotto III is recognized.
Senator Sotto. I presume that the effect of the proposed amendment of Senator Legarda would be
removing the “men and children” in this particular bill and focus specifically on women alone. That will
be the net effect of that proposed amendment. Hearing the rationale mentioned by the distinguished
sponsor, Sen. Luisa “Loi” Ejercito Estrada, I am not sure now whether she is inclined to accept the
proposed amendment of Senator Legarda.
I am willing to wait whether she is accepting this or not because if she is going to accept this, I will
propose an amendment to the amendment rather than object to the amendment, Mr. President.

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Senator Estrada. The amendment is accepted, Mr. President.
The President Pro Tempore. Is there any objection?
Senator Sotto. x x x May I propose an amendment to the amendment.
The President Pro Tempore. Before we act on the amendment?
Senator Sotto. Yes, Mr. President.
The President Pro Tempore. Yes, please proceed.
Senator Sotto. Mr. President, I am inclined to believe the rationale used by the distinguished proponent
of the amendment. As a matter of fact, I tend to agree. Kung may maaabuso, mas malamang iyong
babae kaysa sa lalake. At saka iyong mga lalake, puwede na talagang magulpi iyan. Okey lang iyan.
But I cannot agree that we remove the children from this particular measure.
So, if I may propose an amendment –
The President Pro Tempore. To the amendment.
Senator Sotto. – more than the women, the children are very much abused. As a matter of fact, it is not
limited to minors. The abuse is not limited to seven, six, 5-year-old children. I have seen 14,
15-year-old children being abused by their fathers, even by their mothers. And it breaks my heart to
find out about these things.
Because of the inadequate existing law on abuse of children, this particular measure will update that. It
will enhance and hopefully prevent the abuse of children and not only women.

Therefore, may I propose an amendment that, yes, we remove the aspect of the men in the bill but not
the children.
Senator Legarda. I agree, Mr. President, with the Minority Leader.
The President Pro Tempore. Effectively then, it will be women AND CHILDREN.
Senator Sotto. Yes, Mr. President.
Senator Estrada. It is accepted, Mr. President.
The President Pro Tempore. Is there any objection? [Silence] There being none, the amendment, as
amended, is approved.66
It is settled that courts are not concerned with the wisdom, justice, policy, or expediency of a statute.67 Hence,
we dare not venture into the real motivations and wisdom of the members of Congress in limiting the
protection against violence and abuse under R.A. 9262 to women and children only. No proper challenge on
said grounds may be entertained in this proceeding. Congress has made its choice and it is not our
prerogative to supplant this judgment. The choice may be perceived as erroneous but even then, the remedy
against it is to seek its amendment or repeal by the legislative. By the principle of separation of powers, it is
the legislative that determines the necessity, adequacy, wisdom and expediency of any law.68We only step in
when there is a violation of the Constitution. However, none was sufficiently shown in this case.

R.A. 9262 does not violate

the guaranty of equal protection

of the laws.

Equal protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to
rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. The oft-repeated disquisition in the early case of Victoriano v.
Elizalde Rope Workers' Union69 is instructive:

The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality in the application of the laws
upon all citizens of the state. It is not, therefore, a requirement, in order to avoid the constitutional
prohibition against inequality, that every man, woman and child should be affected alike by a statute.
Equality of operation of statutes does not mean indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such,
| Page 12 of 34
but on persons according to the circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality, not identity of
rights. The Constitution does not require that things which are different in fact be treated in law as
though they were the same. The equal protection clause does not forbid discrimination as to things that
are different. It does not prohibit legislation which is limited either in the object to which it is directed or
by the territory within which it is to operate.
The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification. Classification in law, as
in the other departments of knowledge or practice, is the grouping of things in speculation or practice
because they agree with one another in certain particulars. A law is not invalid because of simple
inequality. The very idea of classification is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the
mere fact of inequality in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality. All that is required of a
valid classification is that it be reasonable, which means that the classification should be based on
substantial distinctions which make for real differences; that it must be germane to the purpose of the
law; that it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and that it must apply equally to
each member of the class. This Court has held that the standard is satisfied if the classification or
distinction is based on a reasonable foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary.
(Emphasis supplied)

Measured against the foregoing jurisprudential yardstick, we find that R.A. 9262 is based on a valid
classification as shall hereinafter be discussed and, as such, did not violate the equal protection clause by
favoring women over men as victims of violence and abuse to whom the State extends its protection.

I. R.A. 9262 rests on substantial distinctions.

The unequal power relationship between women and men; the fact that women are more likely than men to
be victims of violence; and the widespread gender bias and prejudice against women all make for real
differences justifying the classification under the law. As Justice McIntyre succinctly states, “the
accommodation of differences ... is the essence of true equality.”70

A. Unequal power relationship

between men and women

According to the Philippine Commission on Women (the National Machinery for Gender Equality and
Women's Empowerment), violence against women (VAW) is deemed to be closely linked with the unequal
power relationship between women and men otherwise known as “gender-based violence”. Societal norms
and traditions dictate people to think men are the leaders, pursuers, providers, and take on dominant roles in
society while women are nurturers, men's companions and supporters, and take on subordinate roles in
society. This perception leads to men gaining more power over women. With power comes the need to
control to retain that power. And VAW is a form of men's expression of controlling women to retain power.71

The United Nations, which has long recognized VAW as a human rights issue, passed its Resolution 48/104
on the Declaration on Elimination of Violence Against Women on December 20, 1993 stating that
“violenceagainst women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and
women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention
of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms
| Page 13 of 34
by which women are forced into subordinate positions, compared with men.”72

Then Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno traced the historical and social context of gender-based violence and
developments in advocacies to eradicate VAW, in his remarks delivered during the Joint Launching of R.A.
9262 and its Implementing Rules last October 27, 2004, the pertinent portions of which are quoted hereunder:

History reveals that most societies sanctioned the use of violence against women. The patriarch of a
family was accorded the right to use force on members of the family under his control. I quote the early
Traditions subordinating women have a long history rooted in patriarchy – the institutional rule of
men. Women were seen in virtually all societies to be naturally inferior both physically and
intellectually. In ancient Western societies, women whether slave, concubine or wife, were under
the authority of men. In law, they were treated as property.
The Roman concept of patria potestas allowed the husband to beat, or even kill, his wife if she
endangered his property right over her. Judaism, Christianity and other religions oriented towards the
patriarchal family strengthened the male dominated structure of society.

English feudal law reinforced the tradition of male control over women. Even the eminent Blackstone
has been quoted in his commentaries as saying husband and wife were one and that one was the
husband. However, in the late 1500s and through the entire 1600s, English common law began to limit
the right of husbands to chastise their wives. Thus, common law developed the rule of thumb, which
allowed husbands to beat their wives with a rod or stick no thicker than their thumb.

In the later part of the 19th century, legal recognition of these rights to chastise wives or inflict corporeal
punishment ceased. Even then, the preservation of the family was given more importance than preventing
violence to women.

The metamorphosis of the law on violence in the United States followed that of the English common law. In
1871, the Supreme Court of Alabama became the first appellate court to strike down the common law right of
a husband to beat his wife:

The privilege, ancient though it may be, to beat one's wife with a stick, to pull her hair, choke her, spit in
her face or kick her about the floor, or to inflict upon her like indignities, is not now acknowledged by
our law... In person, the wife is entitled to the same protection of the law that the husband can invoke
for himself.

As time marched on, the women's advocacy movement became more organized. The temperance
leagues initiated it. These leagues had a simple focus. They considered the evils of alcoholism as the
root cause of wife abuse. Hence, they demonstrated and picketed saloons, bars and their husbands'
other watering holes. Soon, however, their crusade was joined by suffragette movements, expanding
the liberation movement's agenda. They fought for women's right to vote, to own property, and more.
Since then, the feminist movement was on the roll.
The feminist movement exposed the private invisibility of the domestic violence to the public gaze.
They succeeded in transforming the issue into an important public concern. No less than the
United States Supreme Court, in 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, noted:
In an average 12-month period in this country, approximately two million women are the
victims of severe assaults by their male partners. In a 1985 survey, women reported that
nearly one of every eight husbands had assaulted their wives during the past year. The
[American Medical Association] views these figures as “marked underestimates,” because

| Page 14 of 34
the nature of these incidents discourages women from reporting them, and because surveys
typically exclude the very poor, those who do not speak English well, and women who are
homeless or in institutions or hospitals when the survey is conducted. According to the AMA,
“researchers on family violence agree that the true incidence of partner violence is probably
double the above estimates; or four million severely assaulted women per year.”
Studies on prevalence suggest that from one-fifth to one-third of all women will be physically
assaulted by a partner or ex-partner during their lifetime... Thus on an average day in the United
States, nearly 11,000 women are severely assaulted by their male partners. Many of these
incidents involve sexual assault... In families where wife beating takes place, moreover, child
abuse is often present as well.
Other studies fill in the rest of this troubling picture. Physical violence is only the most visible form of
abuse. Psychological abuse, particularly forced social and economic isolation of women, is also
Many victims of domestic violence remain with their abusers, perhaps because they perceive no
superior alternative...Many abused women who find temporary refuge in shelters return to their
husbands, in large part because they have no other source of income... Returning to one's abuser can
be dangerous. Recent Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics disclose that 8.8 percent of all
homicide victims in the United States are killed by their spouses...Thirty percent of female homicide
victims are killed by their male partners.
Finally in 1994, the United States Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act.
In the International front, the women's struggle for equality was no less successful. The United
States Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirmed the equality of all human
beings. In 1979, the UN General Assembly adopted the landmark Convention on the Elimination of
all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). In 1993, the UN General Assembly also
adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. World conferences on the
role and rights of women have been regularly held in Mexico City, Copenhagen, Nairobi and
Beijing. The UN itself established a Commission on the Status of Women.
The Philippines has been in cadence with the half – and full – steps of all these women's
movements. No less than Section 14, Article II of our 1987 Constitution mandates the State to
recognize the role of women in nation building and to ensure the fundamental equality before the
law of women and men. Our Senate has ratified the CEDAW as well as the Convention on the
Rights of the Child and its two protocols. To cap it all, Congress, on March 8, 2004, enacted Rep.
Act No. 9262, entitled “An Act Defining Violence Against Women and Their Children, Providing for
Protective Measures for Victims, Prescribing Penalties therefor and for other Purposes.” (Citations

B. Women are the “usual” and “most likely” victims of violence.

At the time of the presentation of Senate Bill No. 2723, official statistics on violence against women and
children show that –

x x x physical injuries had the highest number of cases at 5,058 in 2002 representing 55.63% of total
cases reported (9,903). And for the first semester of 2003, there were 2,381 reported cases out of
4,354 cases which represent 54.31%. xxx (T)he total number of women in especially difficult
circumstances served by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the year
2002, there are 1,417 physically abused/maltreated cases out of the total of 5,608 cases. xxx (T)here
are 1,091 DSWD cases out of a total number of 3,471 cases for the first semester of 2003. Female
violence comprised more than 90% of all forms of abuse and violence and more than 90% of these
reported cases were committed by the women's intimate partners such as their husbands and live-in
| Page 15 of 34
Recently, the Philippine Commission on Women presented comparative statistics on violence against women
across an eight-year period from 2004 to August of 2011 with violations under R.A. 9262 ranking first among
the different VAW categories since its implementation in 2004,74 thus:

Table 1. Annual Comparative Statistics on Violence Against Women, 2004 - 2011*

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Rape 997 997 659 837 811 770 1,042 832
38 46 26 22 28 27 19 23
194 148 185 147 204 167 268 201
Acts of
580 536 382 358 445 485 745 625
3,553 2,335 1,892 1,505 1,307 1,498 2,018 1,588
53 37 38 46 18 54 83 63
RA 9262 218 924 1,269 2,387 3,599 5,285 9,974 9,021
Threats 319 223 199 182 220 208 374 213
Seduction 62 19 29 30 19 19 25 15
Concubinage 121 102 93 109 109 99 158 128
RA 9208 17 11 16 24 34 152 190 62
Abduction /
29 16 34 23 28 18 25 22
90 50 59 59 83 703 183 155
Total 6,271 5,374 4,881 5,729 6,905 9,485 15,104 12,948
*2011 report covers only from January to August

Source: Philippine National Police – Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC)

On the other hand, no reliable estimates may be obtained on domestic abuse and violence against men in the
Philippines because incidents thereof are relatively low and, perhaps, because many men will not even
attempt to report the situation. In the United Kingdom, 32% of women who had ever experienced domestic
violence did so four or five (or more) times, compared with 11% of the smaller number of men who had ever
experienced domestic violence; and women constituted 89% of all those who had experienced 4 or more
incidents of domestic violence.75 Statistics in Canada show that spousal violence by a woman against a man
is less likely to cause injury than the other way around (18 percent versus 44 percent). Men, who experience
violence from their spouses are much less likely to live in fear of violence at the hands of their spouses, and
much less likely to experience sexual assault. In fact, many cases of physical violence by a woman against a

| Page 16 of 34
spouse are in self-defense or the result of many years of physical or emotional abuse.76

While there are, indeed, relatively few cases of violence and abuse perpetrated against men in the Philippines,
the same cannot render R.A. 9262 invalid.

In a 1960 case involving the violation of a city ordinance requiring drivers of animal-drawn vehicles to pick up,
gather and deposit in receptacles the manure emitted or discharged by their vehicle-drawing animals in any
public highways, streets, plazas, parks or alleys, said ordinance was challenged as violative of the guaranty of
equal protection of laws as its application is limited to owners and drivers of vehicle-drawing animals and not
to those animals, although not utilized, but similarly pass through the same streets.

The ordinance was upheld as a valid classification for the reason that, while there may be
non-vehicle-drawing animals that also traverse the city roads, “but their number must be negligible and
their appearance therein merely occasional, compared to the rig-drawing ones, as not to constitute a
menace to the health of the community.”77 The mere fact that the legislative classification may result in actual
inequality is not violative of the right to equal protection, for every classification of persons or things for
regulation by law produces inequality in some degree, but the law is not thereby rendered invalid.78

C. Gender bias and prejudices

From the initial report to the police through prosecution, trial, and sentencing, crimes against women are often
treated differently and less seriously than other crimes. This was argued by then United States Senator
Joseph R. Biden, Jr., now Vice President, chief sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), in
defending the civil rights remedy as a valid exercise of the U.S. Congress' authority under the Commerce and
Equal Protection Clauses. He stressed that the widespread gender bias in the U.S. has institutionalized
historic prejudices against victims of rape or domestic violence, subjecting them to “double victimization” –
first at the hands of the offender and then of the legal system.79

Our own Senator Loi Estrada lamented in her Sponsorship Speech for Senate Bill No. 2723 that “(w)henever
violence occurs in the family, the police treat it as a private matter and advise the parties to settle the conflict
themselves. Once the complainant brings the case to the prosecutor, the latter is hesitant to file the complaint
for fear that it might later be withdrawn. This lack of response or reluctance to be involved by the police and
prosecution reinforces the escalating, recurring and often serious nature of domestic violence.”80

Sadly, our own courts, as well, have exhibited prejudices and biases against our women.

In a recent case resolved on March 9, 2011, we fined RTC Judge Venancio J. Amila for Conduct Unbecoming
of a Judge. He used derogatory and irreverent language in reference to the complainant in a petition for TPO
and PPO under R.A. 9262, calling her as “only a live-in partner” and presenting her as an “opportunist” and a
“mistress” in an “illegitimate relationship.” Judge Amila even called her a “prostitute,” and accused her of
being motivated by “insatiable greed” and of absconding with the contested property.81 Such remarks
betrayed Judge Amila's prejudices and lack of gender sensitivity.

The enactment of R.A. 9262 aims to address the discrimination brought about by biases and prejudices
against women. As emphasized by the CEDAW Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against

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Women, addressing or correcting discrimination through specific measures focused on women does not
discriminate against men.82 Petitioner's contention,83 therefore, that R.A. 9262 is discriminatory and that it is
an “anti-male,” “husband-bashing,” and “hate-men” law deserves scant consideration. As a State Party to the
CEDAW, the Philippines bound itself to take all appropriate measures “to modify the social and cultural
patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary
and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or
on stereotyped roles for men and women.”84 Justice Puno correctly pointed out that “(t)he paradigm shift
changing the character of domestic violence from a private affair to a public offense will require the
development of a distinct mindset on the part of the police, the prosecution and the judges.”85

II. The classification is germane to the purpose of the law.

The distinction between men and women is germane to the purpose of R.A. 9262, which is to address
violence committed against women and children, spelled out in its Declaration of Policy, as follows:

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is hereby declared that the State values the dignity of women and
children and guarantees full respect for human rights. The State also recognizes the need to protect
the family and its members particularly women and children, from violence and threats to their personal
safety and security.
Towards this end, the State shall exert efforts to address violence committed against women and
children in keeping with the fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution and the
provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international
human rights instruments of which the Philippines is a party.

In 1979, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the CEDAW, which the Philippines ratified on August 5, 1981.
Subsequently, the Optional Protocol to the CEDAW was also ratified by the Philippines on October 6, 2003.86
This Convention mandates that State parties shall accord to women equality with men before the law87 and
shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to
marriage and family relations on the basis of equality of men and women.88 The Philippines likewise ratified
the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its two protocols.89 It is, thus, bound by said Conventions and
their respective protocols.

III. The classification is not limited to existing

conditions only, and apply equally to all members

Moreover, the application of R.A. 9262 is not limited to the existing conditions when it was promulgated, but to
future conditions as well, for as long as the safety and security of women and their children are threatened by
violence and abuse.

R.A. 9262 applies equally to all women and children who suffer violence and abuse. Section 3 thereof
defines VAWC as:

x x x any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife,
or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom he
has a common child, or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family
abode, which result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or
| Page 18 of 34
economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary
deprivation of liberty. It includes, but is not limited to, the following acts:

A. "Physical Violence" refers to acts that include bodily or physical harm;

B. "Sexual violence" refers to an act which is sexual in nature, committed against a woman or her child.
It includes, but is not limited to:
a) rape, sexual harassment, acts of lasciviousness, treating a woman or her child as a sex object,
making demeaning and exually suggestive remarks, physically attacking the sexual parts of the
victim's body, forcing her/him to watch obscene publications and indecent shows or forcing the
woman or her child to do indecent acts and/or make films thereof, forcing the wife and
mistress/lover to live in the conjugal home or sleep together in the same room with the abuser;
b) acts causing or attempting to cause the victim to engage in any sexual activity by force, threat
of force, physical or other harm or threat of physical or other harm or coercion;
c) Prostituting the woman or child.
C. "Psychological violence" refers to acts or omissions causing or likely to cause mental or
emotional suffering of the victim such as but not limited to intimidation, harassment, stalking,
damage to property, public ridicule or humiliation, repeated verbal abuse and marital infidelity. It
includes causing or allowing the victim to witness the physical, sexual or psychological abuse of a
member of the family to which the victim belongs, or to witness pornography in any form or to
witness abusive injury to pets or to unlawful or unwanted deprivation of the right to custody and/or
visitation of common children.
D. "Economic abuse" refers to acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially dependent
which includes, but is not limited to the following:
1. withdrawal of financial support or preventing the victim from engaging in any legitimate
profession, occupation, business or activity, except in cases wherein the other
spouse/partner objects on valid, serious and moral grounds as defined in Article 73 of the
Family Code;
2. deprivation or threat of deprivation of financial resources and the right to the use and
enjoyment of the conjugal, community or property owned in common;
3. destroying household property;
4. controlling the victims' own money or properties or solely controlling the conjugal money
or properties.
It should be stressed that the acts enumerated in the aforequoted provision are attributable to research that
has exposed the dimensions and dynamics of battery. The acts described here are also found in the U.N.
Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.90 Hence, the argument advanced by petitioner
that the definition of what constitutes abuse removes the difference between violent action and simple marital
tiffs is tenuous.

There is nothing in the definition of VAWC that is vague and ambiguous that will confuse petitioner in his
defense. The acts enumerated above are easily understood and provide adequate contrast between the
innocent and the prohibited acts. They are worded with sufficient definiteness that persons of ordinary
intelligence can understand what conduct is prohibited, and need not guess at its meaning nor differ in its
application.91 Yet, petitioner insists92 that phrases like “depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her
child of a legal right,” “solely controlling the conjugal or common money or properties,” “marital infidelity,” and
“causing mental or emotional anguish” are so vague that they make every quarrel a case of spousal abuse.
However, we have stressed that the “vagueness” doctrine merely requires a reasonable degree of certainty
for the statute to be upheld – not absolute precision or mathematical exactitude, as petitioner seems to
suggest. Flexibility, rather than meticulous specificity, is permissible as long as the metes and bounds of the
statute are clearly delineated. An act will not be held invalid merely because it might have been more explicit
in its wordings or detailed in its provisions.93

There is likewise no merit to the contention that R.A. 9262 singles out the husband or father as the culprit. As

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defined above, VAWC may likewise be committed “against a woman with whom the person has or had a
sexual or dating relationship.” Clearly, the use of the gender-neutral word “person” who has or had a sexual or
dating relationship with the woman encompasses even lesbian relationships. Moreover, while the law
provides that the offender be related or connected to the victim by marriage, former marriage, or a sexual or
dating relationship, it does not preclude the application of the principle of conspiracy under the Revised Penal
Code (RPC). Thus, in the case of Go-Tan v. Spouses Tan,94 the parents-in-law of Sharica Mari L. GoTan,
the victim, were held to be proper respondents in the case filed by the latter upon the allegation that they and
their son (Go-Tan's husband) had community of design and purpose in tormenting her by giving her
insufficient financial support; harassing and pressuring her to be ejected from the family home; and in
repeatedly abusing her verbally, emotionally, mentally and physically.

R.A. 9262 is not violative of the

due process clause of the Constitution.

Petitioner bewails the disregard of R.A. 9262, specifically in the issuance of POs, of all protections afforded by
the due process clause of the Constitution. Says he: “On the basis of unsubstantiated allegations, and
practically no opportunity to respond, the husband is stripped of family, property, guns, money, children, job,
future employment and reputation, all in a matter of seconds, without an inkling of what happened.”95

A protection order is an order issued to prevent further acts of violence against women and their children,
their family or household members, and to grant other necessary reliefs. Its purpose is to safeguard the
offended parties from further harm, minimize any disruption in their daily life and facilitate the opportunity and
ability to regain control of their life.96“

The scope of reliefs in protection orders is broadened to ensure that the victim or offended party is afforded all
the remedies necessary to curtail access by a perpetrator to the victim. This serves to safeguard the victim
from greater risk of violence; to accord the victim and any designated family or household member safety in
the family residence, and to prevent the perpetrator from committing acts that jeopardize the employment and
support of the victim. It also enables the court to award temporary custody of minor children to protect the
children from violence, to prevent their abduction by the perpetrator and to ensure their financial support.”97

The rules require that petitions for protection order be in writing, signed and verified by the petitioner98
thereby undertaking full responsibility, criminal or civil, for every allegation therein. Since “time is of the
essence in cases of VAWC if further violence is to be prevented,”99 the court is authorized to issue ex parte a
TPO after raffle but before notice and hearing when the life, limb or property of the victim is in jeopardy and
there is reasonable ground to believe that the order is necessary to protect the victim from the immediate and
imminent danger of VAWC or to prevent such violence, which is about to recur.100

There need not be any fear that the judge may have no rational basis to issue an ex parte order. The victim is
required not only to verify the allegations in the petition, but also to attach her witnesses' affidavits to the

The grant of a TPO ex parte cannot, therefore, be challenged as violative of the right to due process. Just like

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a writ of preliminary attachment which is issued without notice and hearing because the time in which the
hearing will take could be enough to enable the defendant to abscond or dispose of his property,102 in the
same way, the victim of VAWC may already have suffered harrowing experiences in the hands of her
tormentor, and possibly even death, if notice and hearing were required before such acts could be prevented.
It is a constitutional commonplace that the ordinary requirements of procedural due process must yield to the
necessities of protecting vital public interests,103 among which is protection of women and children from
violence and threats to their personal safety and security.

It should be pointed out that when the TPO is issued ex parte, the court shall likewise order that notice be
immediately given to the respondent directing him to file an opposition within five (5) days from service.
Moreover, the court shall order that notice, copies of the petition and TPO be served immediately on the
respondent by the court sheriffs. The TPOs are initially effective for thirty (30) days from service on the

Where no TPO is issued ex parte, the court will nonetheless order the immediate issuance and service of the
notice upon the respondent requiring him to file an opposition to the petition within five (5) days from service.
The date of the preliminary conference and hearing on the merits shall likewise be indicated on the notice.105

The opposition to the petition which the respondent himself shall verify, must be accompanied by the
affidavits of witnesses and shall show cause why a temporary or permanent protection order should not be

It is clear from the foregoing rules that the respondent of a petition for protection order should be apprised of
the charges imputed to him and afforded an opportunity to present his side. Thus, the fear of petitioner of
being “stripped of family, property, guns, money, children, job, future employment and reputation, all in a
matter of seconds, without an inkling of what happened” is a mere product of an overactive imagination. The
essence of due process is to be found in the reasonable opportunity to be heard and submit any evidence
one may have in support of one's defense. "To be heard" does not only mean verbal arguments in court; one
may be heard also through pleadings. Where opportunity to be heard, either through oral arguments or
pleadings, is accorded, there is no denial of procedural due process.107

It should be recalled that petitioner filed on April 26, 2006 an Opposition to the Urgent Ex-Parte Motion for
Renewal of the TPO that was granted only two days earlier on April 24, 2006. Likewise, on May 23, 2006,
petitioner filed a motion for the modification of the TPO to allow him visitation rights to his children. Still, the
trial court in its Order dated September 26, 2006, gave him five days (5) within which to show cause why the
TPO should not be renewed or extended. Yet, he chose not to file the required comment arguing that it would
just be an “exercise in futility,” conveniently forgetting that the renewal of the questioned TPO was only for a
limited period (30 days) each time, and that he could prevent the continued renewal of said order if he can
show sufficient cause therefor. Having failed to do so, petitioner may not now be heard to complain that he
was denied due process of law.

Petitioner next laments that the removal and exclusion of the respondent in the VAWC case from the
residence of the victim, regardless of ownership of the residence, is virtually a “blank check” issued to the wife
to claim any property as her conjugal home.108

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The wording of the pertinent rule, however, does not by any stretch of the imagination suggest that this is so.
It states:

SEC. 11. Reliefs available to the offended party. -- The protection order shall include any, some or all
of the following reliefs:
(c) Removing and excluding the respondent from the residence of the offended party, regardless of
ownership of the residence, either temporarily for the purpose of protecting the offended party, or
permanently where no property rights are violated. If the respondent must remove personal effects
from the residence, the court shall direct a law enforcement agent to accompany the respondent to the
residence, remain there until the respondent has gathered his things and escort him from the residence;

Indubitably, petitioner may be removed and excluded from private respondent's residence, regardless of
ownership, only temporarily for the purpose of protecting the latter. Such removal and exclusion may be
permanent only where no property rights are violated. How then can the private respondent just claim any
property and appropriate it for herself, as petitioner seems to suggest?

The non-referral of a VAWC case

to a mediator is justified.

Petitioner argues that “by criminalizing run-of-the-mill arguments, instead of encouraging mediation and
counseling, the law has done violence to the avowed policy of the State to “protect and strengthen the family
as a basic autonomous social institution.”109

Under Section 23(c) of A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC, the court shall not refer the case or any issue thereof to a
mediator. The reason behind this provision is well-explained by the Commentary on Section 311 of the Model
Code on Domestic and Family Violence as follows:110

This section prohibits a court from ordering or referring parties to mediation in a proceeding for an order
for protection. Mediation is a process by which parties in equivalent bargaining positions voluntarily
reach consensual agreement about the issue at hand. Violence, however, is not a subject for
compromise. A process which involves parties mediating the issue of violence implies that the victim
is somehow at fault. In addition, mediation of issues in a proceeding for an order of protection is
problematic because the petitioner is frequently unable to participate equally with the person against
whom the protection order has been sought. (Emphasis supplied)

There is no undue delegation of

judicial power to barangay officials.

Petitioner contends that protection orders involve the exercise of judicial power which, under the Constitution,
is placed upon the “Supreme Court and such other lower courts as may be established by law” and, thus,
protests the delegation of power to barangay officials to issue protection orders.111 The pertinent provision
reads, as follows:

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SEC. 14. Barangay Protection Orders (BPOs); Who May Issue and How. – Barangay Protection Orders
(BPOs) refer to the protection order issued by the Punong Barangay ordering the perpetrator to desist
from committing acts under Section 5 (a) and (b) of this Act. A Punong Barangay who receives
applications for a BPO shall issue the protection order to the applicant on the date of filing after ex
parte determination of the basis of the application. If the Punong Barangay is unavailable to act on the
application for a BPO, the application shall be acted upon by any available Barangay Kagawad. If the
BPO is issued by a Barangay Kagawad, the order must be accompanied by an attestation by the
Barangay Kagawad that the Punong Barangay was unavailable at the time of the issuance of the BPO.
BPOs shall be effective for fifteen (15) days. Immediately after the issuance of an ex parte BPO, the
Punong Barangay or Barangay Kagawad shall personally serve a copy of the same on the respondent,
or direct any barangay official to effect its personal service.
The parties may be accompanied by a non-lawyer advocate in any proceeding before the Punong

Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are
legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
Government.112 On the other hand, executive power "is generally defined as the power to enforce and
administer the laws. It is the power of carrying the laws into practical operation and enforcing their due

As clearly delimited by the aforequoted provision, the BPO issued by the Punong Barangay or, in his
unavailability, by any available Barangay Kagawad, merely orders the perpetrator to desist from (a) causing
physical harm to the woman or her child; and (2) threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm.
Such function of the Punong Barangay is, thus, purely executive in nature, in pursuance of his duty under the
Local Government Code to “enforce all laws and ordinances,” and to “maintain public order in the

We have held that “(t)he mere fact that an officer is required by law to inquire into the existence of certain
facts and to apply the law thereto in order to determine what his official conduct shall be and the fact that
these acts may affect private rights do not constitute an exercise of judicial powers.”115

In the same manner as the public prosecutor ascertains through a preliminary inquiry or proceeding “whether
there is reasonable ground to believe that an offense has been committed and the accused is probably guilty
thereof,” the Punong Barangay must determine reasonable ground to believe that an imminent danger of
violence against the woman and her children exists or is about to recur that would necessitate the issuance of
a BPO. The preliminary investigation conducted by the prosecutor is, concededly, an executive, not a judicial,
function. The same holds true with the issuance of a BPO.

We need not even belabor the issue raised by petitioner that since barangay officials and other law
enforcement agencies are required to extend assistance to victims of violence and abuse, it would be very
unlikely that they would remain objective and impartial, and that the chances of acquittal are nil. As already
stated, assistance by barangay officials and other law enforcement agencies is consistent with their duty to
enforce the law and to maintain peace and order.


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Before a statute or its provisions duly challenged are voided, an unequivocal breach or a clear conflict with
the Constitution, not merely a doubtful or argumentative one, must be demonstrated in such a manner as to
leave no doubt in the mind of the Court. In other words, the grounds for nullity must be beyond reasonable
doubt. 116 In the instant case, however, no concrete evidence and convincing arguments were presented by
petitioner to warrant a declaration of the unconstitutionality of R.A. 9262, which is an act of Congress and
signed into law by the highest officer of the co-equal executive department. As we said in Estrada v.
Sandiganbayan, 117 courts must assume that the legislature is ever conscious of the borders and edges of its
plenary powers, and passed laws with full knowledge of the facts and for the purpose of promoting what is
right and advancing the welfare of the majority.

We reiterate here Justice Puno's observation that "the history of the women's movement against domestic
violence shows that one of its most difficult struggles was the fight against the violence of law itself. If we keep
that in mind, law will not again be a hindrance to the struggle of women for equality but will be its fulfillment."
118 Accordingly, the constitutionality of R.A. 9262 is, as it should be, sustained.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition for review on certiorari is hereby DENIED for lack of merit.



Associate Justice



Chief Justice


Associate Justice


Associate Justice


Associate Justice

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Associate Justice

On official leave


Associate Justice


Associate Justice


Associate Justice


Associate Justice


Associate Justice


Associate Justice


Associate Justice


Associate Justice

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Associate Justice


I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was
assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court.


Chief Justice



* On official leave.

1 "Philippines still top Christian country in Asia, 5th in world," Philippine Daily Inquirer, December 21, 2011.

2 Ephesians 5:25-28.

citing statistics furnished by the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women.

4 Id.

5 Section 3(a), R.A. 9262.

6 Rollo, pp. 63-83.

7 Id. at 66-67.

8 Id. at 64.

| Page 26 of 34
9 Id. at 67-68.

10 Id. at 68-70.

11 Id. at 70-71.

12 Id. at 72.

13 Id. at 73.

14 Id. at 74.

15 Id. at 65-66.

16 Id. at 66.

17 Id. at 70.

18 Id. at 84-87.

19 Urgent Ex-Parte Motion for Renewal of Temporary Protection Order (TPO) or Issuance of Modified TPO.
Id. at 90-93.

20 Id. at 94-97.

21 Id. at 98-103.

22 Id. at 138-140.

23 Order dated May 24, 2006. Id. at 148-149.

24 Id. at 154-166.

| Page 27 of 34
25 Id. at 156.

26 Id. at 157.

27 Id. at 158-159.

28 Id. at 167-174.

29 Id. at 182.

30 Id. at 183-184.

31 Id. at 185.

32 Id. at 186-187.

33 See Manifestation dated October 10, 2006. Id. at 188-189.

34 Id. at 104-137.

35 Id. at 151-152.

36 Decision dated January 24, 2007. Penned by Associate Justice Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla, with Associate
Justices Arsenio J. Magpale and Romeo F. Barza, concurring. Id. at 47-57.

37 Id. at 60-61.

38 Petition, id. at 22.

39 ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation v. Philippine Multi-Media System, Inc., G.R. Nos. 175769-70, January
19, 2009, 576 SCRA 262, 289.

40 Philippine National Bank v. Palma, 503 Phil. 917, 932 (2005).

| Page 28 of 34
41 Petition, rollo, p. 24.

42 SEC. 5. Jurisdiction of Family Courts. - The Family Courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear
and decide the following cases:


k) Cases of domestic violence against:

1) Women - which are acts of gender based violence that results, or are likely to result in
physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women; and other forms of physical abuse
such as battering or threats and coercion which violate a woman's personhood, integrity and
freedom movement; and

2) Children - which include the commission of all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation,
violence, and discrimination and all other conditions prejudicial to their development.

43 Sec. 17, R.A. 8369.

44 Manalo v. Mariano, 161 Phil. 108, 120 (1976).

45 Planters Products, Inc. v. Fertiphil Corporation, G.R. No. 166006, March 14, 2008, 548 SCRA 485, 504.

46 Drilon v. Lim, G.R. No. 112497, August 4, 1994, 235 SCRA 135, 140.

47 Planters Products, Inc. v. Fertiphil Corporation, supra note 45, at 505, citing Mirasol v. CA, 403 Phil. 760

48 G.R. Nos. L-18128 & L-18672, December 26, 1961, 3 SCRA 696, 703-704.


50 Korea Exchange Bank v. Hon. Rogelio C. Gonzales, 496 Phil. 127, 143-144 (2005); Spouses Sapugay v.
CA, 262 Phil. 506, 513 (1990).
| Page 29 of 34
51 Sec. 8, Rule 6, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

52 Sec. 11, Rule 6, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

53 See People of the Philippine Islands and Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation v. Vera, 65 Phil 199
(1937); Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. (COCOFED) v. Republic, G.R. Nos. 177857-58,
January 24, 2012, 663 SCRA 514, 594.

54 Recreation and Amusement Association of the Philippines v. City of Manila, 100 Phil 950, 956 (1957).

55 Secs. 22 and 31, A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC.

56 Sec. 26 (b), A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC.

57 Sto. Domingo v. De Los Angeles, 185 Phil. 94, 102 (1980).

58 27 L.Ed.2d 669 (1971), cited in The Executive Secretary v. Court of Appeals, 473 Phil. 27, 56-57 (2004).

59 Rollo, pp. 214-240, 237.

60 Petition, id. at 26-27.

61 An Act Defining Violence Against Women and Members of the Family, Prescribing Penalties Therefor,
Providing for Protective Measures for Victims and for Other Purposes.

62 Congressional Records, Vol. III, No. 45, December 10, 2003, p. 27.

63 Id. at 25.

64 Id. at 27.

65 Id. at 43-44.

66 Congressional Records, Vol. III, No. 51, January 14, 2004, pp. 141-147.

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67 Lawyers Against Monopoly and Poverty (LAMP) v. The Secretary of Budget and Management, G.R. No.
164987, April 24, 2012, 670 SCRA 373, 391.

68 Garcia v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 111511, October 5, 1993, 227 SCRA 100, 113-114.

69 158 Phil. 60, 86-87 (1974).

70 Andrews v. Law Society of British Columbia, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 143, p. 169.

71 Philippine Commission on Women, National Machinery for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment,
“Violence Against Women (VAW),” (visited November 16, 2012).

72 (visited November 16, 2012).

73 As reported by Senator Loi Estrada in her Sponsorship Speech, Congressional Records, Vol. III, No. 45,
December 10, 2003, p. 22.

74 Philippine Commission on Women, “Statistics on Violence Against Filipino Women,” (visited October 12,

75 Women's Aid, “Who are the victims of domestic violence?,” citing Walby and Allen, 2004,

76 Toronto District School Board, Facts and Statistics (visited November 16, 2012).

77 People v. Solon, 110 Phil. 39, 41 (1960).

78 Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers' Union, supra note 69, 90.

79 Biden, Jr., Joseph R., “The Civil Rights Remedy of the Violence Against Women Act: A Defense,” 37
Harvard Journal on Legislation 1 (Winter, 2000).

80 Congressional Records, Vol. III, No. 45, December 10, 2003, pp. 22-23.

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81 Benancillo v. Amila, A.M. No. RTJ-08-2149, March 9, 2011, 645 SCRA 1, 8.

82 “General recommendation No. 25, on article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women, on temporary special measures” (visited January 4, 2013).

83 Petition, rollo, p. 27.

84 Article 5(a), CEDAW.

85 “The Rule on Violence Against Women and Their Children,” Remarks delivered during the Joint Launching
of R.A. 9262 and its Implementing Rules last October 27, 2004 at the Session Hall of the Supreme Court.

86 Supra note 49.

87 Article 15.

88 Article 16.

89 Supra note 49.

90 Supra note 49.

91 Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, 421 Phil 290, 351-352 (2001).

92 Petition, rollo, p. 35.

93 Estrada v. Sandiganbayan , supra note 91, at 352-353.

94 G.R. No. 168852, September 30, 2008, 567 SCRA 231.

95 Petition, rollo, p. 31.

96 Sec. 4 (o), A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC.

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97 Supra note 49.

98 Sec. 7, A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC.

99 Supra note 49.

100 Id.

101 Supra note 85.

102 Cuartero v. CA, G.R. No. 102448, August 5, 1992, 212 SCRA 260, 265.

103 Laguna Lake Development Authority v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 110120, March 16, 1994, 231 SCRA
292, 307, citing Pollution Adjudication Board v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 93891, March 11,1991, 195 SCRA

104 Sec. 15, A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC.

105 Sec. 16, A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC.

106 Sec. 20, A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC.

107 Esperida v. Jurado, Jr., G.R. No. 172538, April 25, 2012, 671 SCRA 66, 74.

108 Petition, rollo, pp. 30-31.

109 Id. at 36.

110 Supra note 49.

111 Petition, rollo, pp. 130-131.

| Page 33 of 34
112 Sec. 1, Article VIII, 1987 Constitution.

113 Laurel v. Desierto, 430 Phil. 658 (2002).

114 People v. Tomaquin, 478 Phil. 885, 899 (2004), citing Section 389, Chapter 3, Title One, Book III, Local
Government Code of 1991, as amended.

115 Lovina and Montilla v. Moreno and Yonzon, 118 Phil 1401, 1406 (1963).

116 Hacienda Luisita, Incorporated v. Presidential Agrarian Reform Council, G.R. No. 17110 I, July 5, 20 II,
653 SCRA 154, 258.

117 Supra note 91.

118 Supra note 85.

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